January 14, 2014

The Plants

Yarrow heard it. Yarrow heard Turtle say that they should move the oregano all to the west side and he heard the others agree with that. Yarrow has just enough greenery up top to be able to hear the Council but still enough energy stored in his roots to easily get back down below. Yarrow races down the tunnel and into the Pub.

(Excuse me, dear reader. Did you think the perennials sleep through the winter? Is that what you thought they do when they disappear from above? Nope. Imagine, if you will, the coziest British pub you have ever been in. A low ceiling. Poorly lit, but warm and cozy. Wood booths around the edges, perfect for a private chat. Round tables in the center and an awesome bar with plain wooden stools. The Pub. The place where the root perennials hang out during their various and respective off-seasons. This, being winter, is its busy time of year).

Yarrow bursts into the Pub and yells out to the others “You won’t believe what I just heard! Mary asked Turtle what we should do with Oregano. Turtle said the Ref should move every bit of it to the West side. Something about the deer eating it. The rest of the Council agreed. ”

Cheers erupt immediately. Gloriosa Daisy hugs Snapdragon. Black Eyed Susan and Bee Balm give each other hearty high fives. Phlox dances a little jig. Whoops and hollers can be heard throughout out the Pub. This is huge! Oregano has been occupying one of the premium spots in the garden for years . Lately he has been ruthlessly advancing, gaining territory. Yarrow was in the most danger but many of the others felt the onslaught of Oregano just as keenly.

Gloriosa Daisy wants confirmation. “Who else heard it? Who’s above?” They look around. Solid Intel is hard to come by at this time of the year. The Daisy sisters, Oxeye and Shasta are at the top,but they can’t get back down. They are committed. So is Dame ‘s Rocket.

Gloriosa wants to know, “Who else is straddling the divide? Come on now. We need confirmation. This is a big deal. We need to know the exact wording.”

“Snowdrop.” says Phlox. “She left here last week. She probably heard and I bet she can still get down.”

Yarrow races off, returning a few minutes later with the small, graceful and oh-so-beautiful Snowdrop.

“Yes?” she asks. “How may I help you?” Snowdrop is leery of the rowdy crowd which hangs around with Gloriosa. The big, showy summer bloomers.

“Could you hear the Council? And if so, exactly what did you hear?”

“Well, ” she responds. “I’ve got my head poking out and I could hear quite clearly. Mary asked Turtle what he thought they should do with the oregano. He said, and I qoute, ‘Move it all to the West side – every single bit of it – put it in a patch where the Ref is going to burn brush this spring. Dare the deer to eat it.’ The others all agreed and Mary didn’t say anything, so its a done deal.”

“Done deal, that is” says Gloriosa “if the Ref gets it done.”

“He’ll do it.” chimes in Globe Thistle. He has been with the Referee from the beginning. Globe Thistle has faith in the Ref.

Snowdrop leaves with a cheery wave. She can’t hang around. She has work to do.

Daylilly feels compelled to note that the critical words were “every single bit of it.” That means the Ref will try hard to get it all and leave no little root doodles which can survive and regain a foothold. That is good. No one questions Oregano’s ability to thrive in that rich, sandy, well drained soil.

A sigh of relief passes through the crowd.

While the others celebrate, Oregano sits in a corner booth by himself. He’s not part of this crowd. They hate him. He is an outsider and he knew they’d get him eventually. At least he knows his fate. Moved in his entirety to the West side. As he thinks it through, he realizes this is probably the best case scenario for him. He knows he wasn’t welcome in that spot anymore and he could tell the Council was prepared to kick him out. He feared they might instruct the Ref to divide him aggressively, put his pieces in pots and give them all away. Oh how the Ref loves to give away prime specimens. Or worse, maybe they would just eradicate him. The Ref would take him up in one big piece and throw him over the hill onto the woodpile where he couldn’t possibly survive. Given the options, he’ll take the West side. Especially intact. Oregano is not one whit worried about the deer.

Meanwhile, the big summer bloomers have moved on to a vigorous discussion of the dynamics of the sandbox garden without Oregano. A prime spot is up for grabs. They chat cheerfully, but they all know that each and every one of them has a wonderful vision of itself blooming beautifully in Oregano’s spot. A nice big clump of itself right in the middle of things.